Sony readies Apple ‘killers’ – yet again

Apple Online Store“Threatened by Apple Inc.’s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing PlayStation games, according to people familiar with the matter,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Yukari Iwatani Kane report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The Japanese electronics giant also has a project under way to develop a portable device that blurs distinctions among a netbook, an e-reader and a PlayStation Portable, or PSP. The device is designed to compete against multifunction products such as Apple’s coming iPad tablet, these people said,” Wakabayashi and Kane report. “Both the new smart phone and the multifunction device are expected to work with Sony’s online media platform, due to launch later this month in the U.S. as the company’s answer to Apple’s iTunes.”

“The new products are targeted for launch in 2010, although many details such as price and certain specifications have yet to be finalized, these people said,” Wakabayashi and Kane report. “Sony’s media platform, temporarily named Sony Online Service, will offer many of the same movies, television shows and music already available on iTunes. But the company aims to differentiate its service by allowing a wide range of devices to tap into its catalog of games, mainly older titles released for the original PlayStation console.”

Wakabayashi and Kane report, “The new smart phone and other coming portable devices are critical elements of Chief Executive Howard Stringer’s turnaround plan.”

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Sir Howard Stringer is using the same turnaround plan as the one tried by Captain Edward Smith. Except way slower and with much less turning.

Wakabayashi and Kane continue, “The new devices are meant to counter Apple and its wide range of products that connect to its iTunes media platform. Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone are pushing into the portable-gaming market inhabited by Sony’s PSP, while the iPad tablet is expected to disrupt the nascent e-reader market where the Sony Reader has already sold one million units.”

MacDailyNews Take: Disrupt? Okay, but let’s be clearer: Apple’s iPad will obliterate the nascent e-reader market and outsell Sony Reader’s rather anemic unit sales total within a few days.

Wakabayashi and Kane continue, “Sony was forced in February to slash its full-year PSP shipment targets by a third. Sales of the PSP Go—the latest version of its handheld, which doesn’t use packaged discs and only plays downloaded games—have been slow, hurt by the PSP Go’s hefty price tag. It costs $250, or $80 more than the PSP model that uses game discs.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Looks like it’s almost time for Sony’s annual ass-kicking. It’s a good thing for Sony that Apple doesn’t make TVs.

41 Comments

  1. Heheheh, Sony Online Service..? Really Sony? That’s what you’re going with? S.O.S. ?? Wow, might as well just give up and pleeead for help!! Oh wait, that’s what you were doing…? oooooh sorry….

  2. “… the company aims to differentiate its service by allowing a wide range of devices to tap into its catalog of games, mainly older titles released for the original PlayStation console.”

    Meanwhile the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad are playing the latest cutting edge games, with full Apple Multi-Touch, orientation, motion sensor, voice, compass and GPS support.

    Wow Sony. I can hardly yawn. zzzzzz

  3. Sony’s problem: They’re at the bottom of their current, if not last, business life cycle where Marketing took over management and drove the company into a wall.

    The solution: Sony’s current management is required to be fired and replaced with gung ho entrepreneurs all over again. Until that happens, expect further rot. It’s a very old biznizz pattern.

  4. Don’t worry guys it wont be called SOS, it will be called 911 service.

    It’s just too bad, I used to work for Sony and worked with broadcast equipment. Back in those days the consumer stuff was good too and cheap if bought as B or C stock.

    I recently saw a Sony DXC-M3A camera for sale around 70 dollars (in China), with the case and Fujinon lens, but didn’t buy it. Am I stupid or what, just because it’s not cool to own Sony anymore.

  5. Think maybe they’ll “Pause” this to await the results of the latest suit? Or maybe they are rushing ahead to get them “out there” before the results are known, so they can claim ignorance? Or have they licensed the tech?
    It can be rough following something like the iPhone, unless you own the technology everybody else wants. There was – and is – no WAY I could be convinced to get an iPhone. Not because it wasn’t, and isn’t, great stuff, but because I have no need for it. An iPad, that may be a different story. Just not Gen 1. Something wrong with Gen 1? No. Just that I just bought this MacBook. Which has a USB port I can plug my mic into. The tech in these is the future. Soon. Near YOU. Right now, ONLY from Apple.

  6. I remember when Sony was THE premium electronics brand. If you were cool (or your parents were cool) in the mid-90s, you had a Trinitron in your living room, a Playstation beneath it, and a Discman in your backpack (I’m dating AND aging myself here a little). And now look where they are. Their TVs are still pretty great, but the Korean makes are just as good, if not better, and are marketed a hell of a lot better to boot. Discman is dead, PS3 took forever to get momentum, Nintendo’s recovered itself to co-dominate in portable gaming…

    What a situation. I never thought I’d see the day.

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